I love to read. Magazine articles or thick novels~ makes no difference. Generally, there is applicable information in whatever it is I’ve chosen to read (after all, I selected it for a reason!) but if I’m particularly fortunate, the highlighting function on my Nook starts becoming repetitious. I begin highlighting one beautiful passage and then another and before you know it, the entire chapter is emphasized. Those books are few and far between but I have in my hot little hands this morning…a treasure trove.
Chapter 6 of Crazy Love, in particular, is one of those rare finds. The kind of read that sticks with you and makes you rethink everything you thought you knew. When is the last time you read a line in a book and then just shut the cover so you could let the words marinate in your head? When is the last time you thought to yourself, “I have to share this with people! What if they haven’t heard this before?” When is the last time you realized that you’re giving God scraps..leftovers…and that your half-in, half-out love for Him is pretty much purposeless in His eyes?
I cannot do the book justice by paraphrasing the message. Yes, He loves us. Yes, His grace covers us and He is merciful. Maybe because He is so merciful, we feel like He understands when we’re sinful or disobedient or lukewarm. He knows, after all, that we’re only human. That’s a dangerous neck of the woods to be in, I believe. Another dangerous place? Making it your goal to please Christ out of obligation. Well now….do you honestly think He doesn’t see right through that?
The author of Crazy Love, Francis Chan, prompts us to remember when we first fell in love with our spouse or significant other. Remember the feeling that motivated you to do something crazy just to be with that person? My husband, once upon a time, routinely got on his 10 speed bike on Saturday mornings and rode 8 miles one way on wildly dangerous roads just to see me. I used to drive from Tampa to Pensacola every single weekend with a 2 year old in the backseat on the chance that W might get the weekend off from AOCS training. I’m talking about that kind of “in love” feeling that prompts you to do just about anything in order to just be with someone.
That’s the kind of love Christ wants from us. Not out of obligation…out of true love. He wants us to want to be with Him so badly that we’ll sacrifice and surrender everything. Just like we did for our spouse(s). W didn’t see that bike ride as a sacrifice ~ I didn’t see that car trip as a sacrifice….they were opportunities. Opportunities we were thankful for! It never occurred to me to tell W that a 1,000 mile round trip car ride every single weekend for the chance at a Saturday spent together was excessive. The truth is that I would have driven the 1000 miles for 5 minutes spent together. That’s being crazy in love. Total surrender of everything for the opportunity to just be close.
How close do you come to giving God that kind of love? I certainly fall short.
But today is a new day and I’m going directly to Him to ask for that kind of love in my heart. Francis Chan included a prayer at the end of Chapter 6 that I love and will quote. I hope your day is a blessed one that brings you closer to Him.
Jesus, I need to give myself up. I am not strong enough to love You and walk with You on my own. I can’t do it, and I need You. I need You deeply and desperately. I believe You are worth it, that You are better than anything else I could have in this life or the next. I want You. And when I don’t, I want to want You. Be all in me. Take all of me.